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Friday forum will focus on females of Lufkin High School CTE programs

Alexis Kirksey, Panther Growls staff member

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Empowering the young women of Lufkin High School CTE department will be the objective of a Friday morning event, “Dare U2 Be … the Best Possible You!”

Four professional women from the community will focus on the importance of developing character for a successful career path when they talk to the CTE students in the Tom Jack Lucas Auditorium during first and second periods Friday.

“By discussing career goals and providing skills that employers look for, preparation for the workforce will make the girls of our department successful,” CTE teacher Jennifer Cumbie said. “This forum is a way to join the girls to talk about building self-image.”

The forum was created to address a lack of activities for females.

“Our department offers a lot of projects, competitive events and activities mostly geared to the males,” Cumbie said. “Our CTE director, Stephen Rhoades, wanted to offer something for the female students in our department.”

Rhoades said the event is an opportunity for CTE students to connect with professional women who can help prepare the students for their own future.

“This will provide our students with self-confidence to push themselves in education,” Rhoades said. “It will help them cultivate their dreams and maximize their outcomes with who they can become.

“Making connections with people who can show you how to pursue your dreams is important. I was an average student and didn’t think I’d graduate with a bachelor’s or masters. I was fortunate to meet some role models and mentors.”

Mentors such as Brookshire Brothers Public Relations Director Sally Avis, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Ashley Berry, Georgia Pacific Public Affairs Manager and former KTRE TV anchor Yana Ogletree and President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Tara Watson-Watkins will speak to the young women.

“The women were suggested by some of the teachers in our department because they project professionalism,” Cumbie said. “They are also good speakers that can talk to our students about success.”

Success emerges from the development of character, Cumbie said.

“Your family lays the foundation for your character, but a lot of our students watch teachers,” she said. “They have friends in the community. They volunteer and participate in church and the community. That lays the foundations for individual growth and opens the eyes of students for different career goals.”

Cumbie said the event organizers plan to do a second session during the spring in which they bring additional speakers who will specify what employers look for when hiring.

“We want to make our female students are successful as future employees and employers,” Cumbie said.

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Friday forum will focus on females of Lufkin High School CTE programs